The sleepy hamlet of Riverwood has that Nordic vibe down pat in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Stoic, weather-beaten men and women attend to their chores to stave off the winter's biting winds set against the backdrop of a breathtaking (and icy cold) mountain range. Children huddle under layers of fur pelts. The miller hooks a towering trunk of oak onto his shoulder and heaves it onto a separate pile with a dull thud…a big, flammable, expensive pile.
During Bethesda's fantastic gameplay demonstration of Skyrim, the developer told us that lumber mills across various villages and towns are ripe for sabotage, which would "affect the game's economy." Unleashing the formidable powers of the Dovahkiin (or Dragonborn) on a heap of unsuspecting kindling doesn't sound very heroic, but the added caveat of consequence is pretty interesting.
How would a sudden dearth of milled wood affect your journey across Skyrim? I'll venture to guess that the price of various goods would rise in compensation, especially armor and weapons made of the stuff, such as shields and arrows. The simple village life would devolve into disarray after the loss of a valuable resource. And, of course, those remote settlements wouldn't extend the same level of hospitality to a saboteur of everything wooden, so expect an amplified loneliness from wandering the wilderness with no respite.
But hey, if reaping the soul essence of those pesky dragons gets a little too frustrating, you can always vent by slugging a fireball or two into the nearest lumber mill, right?
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